XENIA — A strong 11-2 scoring run late in the fourth quarter gave visiting Emmanuel Christian an eventual 47-42 win on the road, and Lions coach Dan Moore said his team needed every bit of it, Dec. 13 in a Metro Buckeye Conference win over host Legacy Christian Academy.
“They had the momentum going for them, especially in that fourth quarter. If it hadn’t been for that late shift in momentum, I think they would have beat us,” Moore said.
Every time Legacy Christian would mount some sort of comeback, where they would either pull to within a point of the lead, tie, or grab a narrow lead, Emmanuel Christian found themselves able to respond with a scoring binge of its own.
“That was the problem. We allowed Legacy to run their kinda game, and all we did was respond to their game,” Moore said. “That’s not our goal. Our goal is to come in and run the tempo. (Legacy Christian) did a great job tonight in controlling the game, and putting the shots up that they wanted to get.
“We were fortunate to be able to respond to how well they played.”
Legacy had grabbed a 37-34 lead when Jonathan Riddle found teammate Charlie Luke for a backdoor score along the right baseline with 3:57 left to play. The Lions responded with a Fred Shropshire inside score from the left some 13 seconds later, and LCA never saw the lead again.
Emmanuel Christian went on its final scoring binge of the night, and limited the host Knights to a Peyton Burdette score with 21.2 seconds to go, and a Riddle 3-pointer just before the final buzzer sounded.
Shropshire led the Lions (3-2, 2-1 Metro Buckeye Conference) with 15 points scored, while teammate Casey Swank finished with 11. Jason Channels finished with nine points, and Justus Channels added eight. The Lions continue to play in Greene County for their next game, a 7 p.m. road battle at Yellow Springs on Tuesday, Dec. 17.
It may have been a loss for his Knights, but first-year coach Mark Erwin was quite pleased with how his youthful team played.
“We knew Emmanuel Christian was a very good team,” Erwin said. “They’ve got a lot of experienced seniors, and some very good guards, so we knew that we were going to be in for a pretty tough contest. But I’m really proud of our kids. I thought our kids did a wonderful job. They’re getting better every night.”
Riddle led the Knights (1-5, 1-2 MBC) with a game-best 19 points, and coach Erwin says the 6-foot-5 junior forward is still recovering from a rash of injuries that have hobbled him throughout the early going this season.
“He’s still playing with a pretty-injured ankle and some other ailments, too. It seems like every kid on this team has been through some kind of injury so far,” Erwin said. “We’re really still trying to get us back to normal.”
Erwin wanted to credit everybody with solid play, but specifically mentioned the defensive play and rebounding of Charlie Luke, he said Evan Dodson has been very timely with converting three-point shots, added that Brett Carson has played well inside the paint despite some serious injuries.
“I’m really pleased with how our kids are coming along,” he added.
Legacy will have to throw the emotions from Friday’s game in the trash can and quickly shift the team’s collective focus to Saturday’s 7:30 p.m. nonleague road contest in Arcanum against Franklin Monroe. The Knights will then get back into MBC play, again on the road, at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Dayton Christian.
Contact John Bombatch at 937-372-4444, Ext. 2123.